Relaunch Noted

>> The four day celebration at H&M's relaunched six-floor Oxford Circus flagship store isn't quite over yet but for my part, I just wanted to check in with a few of my own added footnotes.

1) I haven't done a design collaboration with H&M as some people mistakenly said on Twitter.  I've just styled the indoor area (where you immediately walk into the stores) and the two main windows (dubbed A and B) using my favourite bits from H&M's collections.  They've also kindly hung tags on my favourite pieces so as to confuse shoppers who are going to be thinking "Who the f*** is Susie Bubble and why is her name on this indigo print jacket?"

2) It wasn't my idea to use the word "Curate" in the signage.  You know how I feel about people randomly "curating" things in a fashion context.  H&M called the shots on that one.  Perhaps they felt "styled" sounded a bit parochial or strange in so much that I'm not really a stylist of the traditional sort.  "Picked" or "Chosen" might have sounded a bit boring.  Oh well, it's just word pedantry.  I'll go with it this time.

3) Someone asked me what my inspiration was for the styling.  Can one talk of inspiration when it's merely picking out my favourite bits?  It has to be said, for the windows, I went with more concrete "trend stories" (get me, going all stylist on you) – i.e. monochrome textures and navy relaxed layers.  For the indoor area, it was a bit more Bubble Bubble.  As in, prints, colours, layers and all that jazz.

4) Everyone remarked that the black high ponytailed wigs were an ode to my own hairstyle.  I'm not sure that was entirely intentional but it does look like there are currently a few Bubble heads floating around in and around the store.  The top knot would have been self-image overkill.  

5) The store opened at 1pm precisely on Friday, led by the hyperactive shiny happy people H&M staff (I'm assured they weren't given training courses on how to be "happy" and "enthusiastic").  They let rip on Gangnam Style and Rihanna's We Found Love.  I felt like I needed the t-shirt to join in.  

6) The store is a far cry from the flagship which I trudged around in my youth, when there was only one H&M store in London.  I remember rushing in there to fight for those CdG and Stella McCartney collaborations.  It was high time this much forgotten branch got a facelift.

7) The taxi driver who gave me a lift in the specially branded H&M Oxford Circu cab, let me lark about in the front seat despite the fact I don't have a license.  Turns out there's no seat next to the driver's seat.  Just dead empty space.  Weird, that.  



















41 Replies to “Relaunch Noted”

  1. I too, thought you had designed a collaboration with H&M but this is still as awesome. Great choices!

  2. Love your styling! H&M windows or visuals don’t normally excite me but this is great I’m so inspired:-)

  3. I am coming from H&M-bereft Australia to London next month. I will definitely checking out the store as I just adore your blog. Can you please come to Australia and instruct the general population on how to dress with more bubble? Most Australians seem to believe that jeans are mandatory even for cocktail parties and weddings and openings and… *falls asleep from boredom with the state of Australian dressing.*

  4. LOVED how you styled the mannequins, it’s very apparent with the StyleBubble DNA and there’s a generous accessibility in the way you’ve done it which is most appealing! 🙂

  5. I’m a new reader so I don’t know a lot about what you were doing in H&M, but I do know about your style for some street style photos I have seen.
    Actually in the moment I saw the photos I thought the style look like something you would wear, after I read the entire post I understand why.

  6. Wow, i almost never go into H&M because usually i’m bored to death by the things they have; but you’ve managed to make some awesome and inspiring outfits. Bravo!

  7. They are very you. I think the choice of word is marketing…a way to trick buyer mind. styled would be a better word but it might not the best word for marketing

  8. You risk sounding a bit rude or unappreciative in excusing H&M’s layout, particularly in contrast with the (sometimes sycophantic) tone used with young designers.
    A giant company chose real talent, maybe over recognizability. That’s awesome, end of story. Peace.

  9. The post was laid out as footnotes because there were some Twitter misunderstandings that arose which I felt needed to be cleared up. Longtime Style Bubble readers will also know the dealio with the word “curate” and how I’m sometimes uncomfortable with the way it’s used in fashion. But then again, I did put it down to my own “pedantry”.
    I am most certainly NOT unappreciative especially as H&M were so brilliant to work with and yes, I realise it was a risk to go with myself (hence why I said ppl might be a tad confused as to why a hang tag with my name on it is on the clothes).
    The post was intended to be a little bit deadpan and brusque. I didn’t want it to be super gushy and be like “ME ME ME Look at all this marvellous work I’ve done!” It was the weekend after all and quite frankly, if anyone has been to the store in person, they’ll have seen my enthusiasm laid out before them, without coming back on here and seeing why yes, more gushiness.
    Your blog is very well written, by the by.

  10. Sorry if I misread your post.
    I’m probably responding to a general tendency. I feel like standards (of tolerance and politeness) are lowered when talking about high street retailers. Not-so-young designers are cosseted, even with growing records of pompous unoriginality. Designers follow trends, but the high street is said to copy. Of course there are cases of rip offs, but luxury makers can be just as brazen.
    We’re quite more considerate when there’s a person attached to the brand. J. Crew is never singled out for copying, which, I suspect, has a lot to do with Jenna Lyons. Topshop would do well in giving an equally prominent role to Kate Phelan, which does seem to be the direction. That human presence levels the conversation field.
    Anyway, the installation, to use another big word, looked really fun.

  11. Interesting observation. I think of course my language with regards to young designers will be different because these are human beings I’ve met. That human interaction will inevitably alter your perception in engaging with their work and what they do. With a multi-national, gigantic corporation, that personal message can get lost and obviously there are evils levied against the high street that are less likely to occur within independent designers (poor quality of materials, copying etc…). I’m not saying that those things DON’T happen within the high end but it does end up being easier to blame a faceless company.
    I don’t believe in this independent=good and corporate=bad deduction though. I’m actually about to do an in depth post about H&M’s new brand & Other Stories, which I think is well and truly brilliant. There are high street retailers that I’m not so keen on of course but that’s more down to my own personal shopping outfits (Zara for instance is somewhere which I simply have never really taken to…).
    With regards to this post, I was more trying to avoid the tendency to talk UP my own work and be all gushy. I definitely wasn’t trying to put a downer on H&M. I love what I did there. I’m in fact styling more mannequins there for next week. It’s been a brilliant project to work on.
    Speaking of Phelan, she’s now returning to Vogue, whilst retaining her role at Topshop, which should be an interesting dynamic.

  12. It is a really good view of the opening!!!!
    Fun, Style and Nice people were the most significant aspects of the moment, at least for us!!!
    A pleasure to meet you, you are lovely! <3
    Alicia & Sofía
    AS Style & Design

  13. It is a really good view of the opening!!!!
    Fun, Style and Nice people were the most significant aspects of the moment, at least for us!!!
    A pleasure to meet you, you are lovely! <3
    Alicia & Sofía
    AS Style & Design

  14. It is a really good view of the opening!!!!
    Fun, Style and Nice people were the most significant aspects of the moment, at least for us!!!
    A pleasure to meet you, you are lovely! <3
    Alicia & Sofía
    AS Style & Design

  15. I need those cut out boots! When Will this stuff be in all THE europeAn stores?! I won’t visit THE UK before september 🙁

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